The first tip every interior designer will give you to have a home that is worthy of being in a magazine, is to keep it clutter-free. A clutter free house does not distract from the furniture and décor elements you want to be noticed and is mentally soothing to walk into. An organized space is also easier to work in and makes you more productive. Everybody has a different way of organizing their house. While some prefer to organize the house room by room, others choose to do it all at once. Decluttering and organizing a house does take a lot of physical and emotional effort but the end result makes it all worthwhile. Here’s a list of ten simple tips to organize your home effectively.
Common sense says that if you don’t collect clutter, you won’t have to get rid of it later. Checklists are a home organizer’s best tool. Maintain lists whenever you go shopping. This ensures that you do not end up with duplicates. This also curbs impulse buys. Making lists applies not only to groceries but also when you’re shopping for clothes, home decor etc. When you know how many meters of fabric you require upholstering a sofa, you won’t buy those extra meters that lie at the bottom of your cupboard for the next ten years.
Organizing and decluttering a house takes time especially if you haven’t given your house any attention for a while. Set aside a day when you aren’t expecting guests or have errands to run. Get cardboard boxes and large garbage bags to collect clutter in each room. Give each room separate boxes for items you want to keep, donate, sell and throw. Lastly, wear comfortable clothes and keep plenty of cool water handy.
We form attachments to most things in our house. This makes getting rid of clutter difficult. To make it easier, don’t start with cabinets that house your grandmother’s crockery and your wedding albums. Instead, choose a drawer of a cabinet that you are less likely to be emotionally invested in. The kitchen and pantry are usually good places to start organizing your home.
Garage sales serve a dual purpose of clearing the clutter from your house and making you a little extra pocket money. When you go through each room, segregate the clutter into 3 boxes, one of the things that need to be organized in spaces, one for things that need to go straight into the dustbin and one of the things that you don’t want but are in a good condition. The contents of this last box can be further segregated into things to be donated and things to sell, both of which should be in good condition. Clothes that are torn and broken toys don’t belong here but in the ‘throwing away’ box.
Getting rid of things that you’ve hoarded for years, imagining that one day they would be useful is not only physically taxing but also emotional. At the same time, an organized house doesn’t have to be an empty house. Use the money you’ve earned through the garage sale to reward yourself. If you’ve had your eye on a particular armchair or rug that has been out of your budget, this is the time to splurge on it.
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Some things, you can’t let go of- your grandmother’s thimble, your wedding cake topper, your daughter’s first drawing etc. putting these things out on display doesn’t help your décor and only gathers dust. Make yourself a nostalgia box for these treasured keepsakes. The top shelf or a cupboard or an overhead loft is an ideal place to keep this box.
Even things that aren’t nostalgic should have a place they belong to. This is the core element of organizing a house. Group things together by function and place them in the area they are most likely to be used. Open trays are ideal places for all your remotes. Drawer organizers are an effective way to creating order in a chaotic desk drawer. Grouping together all your extra cables, batteries, stationary etc in individual boxes will make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for later.
Plastic boxes and recycled cardboard cartons may be budget friendly but in most cases are not décor friendly. To keep your house organized and to stay motivated to put things in their place, invest in storage systems that suit your décor. A nice polished chest of drawers is always better to have than a set of crates piled on top of each other.
Junk mail is a major part of the clutter in every home. As far as possible try and unsubscribe to brochures and magazines you no longer need. Don’t let paper pile up on your dining table and get rid of it as soon as it comes in. create a simple filing system to keep your papers organized instead of tossing them all into a drawer. The paper that has been printed on only one side can be used to create the lists we spoke of in point number 1 or as coloring sheets for your children.
Organizing a house isn’t a one-day event. The best way to keep a house organized is to create a schedule. Set aside time every morning to do simple things like making the bed and sorting the laundry. Once a week, go through the drawers and cabinets. To motivate yourself to maintain this schedule, also, schedule a reward for yourself. After a weekend spent cleaning the kitchen, you could reward yourself with dinner at a fancy restaurant or a night out with your friends.
When you have an organized house, even the smallest space will seem big enough. You’ll find yourself wanting to spend time at home and feeling lighter and happier with an organized house.
To know more read our ideabook: 7 steps to a clutter free home.